Super Crumb Coffee Cake.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

 Because the crumb part… is the best part.

If you’re anything like me, you pick off the crumb topping from your coffee cake.  Or you take the piece with the most crumb topping on it.  If I could make a meal out of crumb topping… believe me, I would.

This is a cinnamon, sugary, buttery crumb-topped coffee cake. Heavy on the crumb.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

Today’s coffee cake is an easy-to-follow recipe.  This homemade version of the classic is a far cry from any of those overly-sweet, fake-tasting store bought versions you may be used to. It’s buttery, moist, soft, and pairs well with a morning cup of coffee. Let’s face it, this coffee cake will pair well with an afternoon cup o’ joe too.  Actually, the coffee is optional. You’ll love this cake no matter what you’re drinking with it.

I got the recipe from my favorite cookbook. The bible of baking, I like to call it. A 1,000+ page book of kitchen-tested recipes, tutorials, and baking tips. My Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe – trust me, you need this cookbook. They are the culinary geniuses behind my Death by Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies.

The cookbook doesn’t call this cake “super-crumb.”  I do. I baked the crumb cake in a smaller pan than what the recipe states, making the crumb layer in my version thicker for each piece.  Kevin had a slice and asked if there was more crumb topping leftover. Even the “super crumb” wasn’t enough for him. I knew I was marrying this man for a reason. 😉

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

What makes this coffee cake so easy is that the crumb-topping and cake batter all start in the same bowl.  The crumb topping’s ingredients (butter, flour, & sugar) is essentially the cake’s ingredients without any liquid. A recipe deriving both cake and crumb topping from the same mixture was a selling point for me.

Simply combine your flour, sugar, salt, and cut in the butter. I used a whisk to cut the butter in and a large fork to mix everything around until the mixture resembled course crumbs.  Set aside 1 cup of the crumb mixture and continue with the rest of the cake batter ingredients.

The cup you set aside is your crumb topping. How easy is that?

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

The recipe calls for buttermilk.  There are no substitutions for buttermilk here.  I tried.  Since I no longer work in the office, I had the spare minute to test this recipe a couple of times.  Buttermilk is one of the culprits for how moist the cake’s crumb is.  Trust me, you can’t leave it out!  It’s required for this recipe – the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cake. If you buy a carton of buttermilk, you can use the extra in my Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.

You can always make your own buttermilk at home using regular milk + lemon juice.  Here’s how I’ve done it before: Measure 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 3/4 cup.  Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes.  The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

Another requirement? Room temperature egg.  Don’t worry, I have a shortcut for that too: Place the egg in a bowl of warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes as you get your other ingredients ready. Easy!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

The original recipe called for nuts, but I chose to leave them out.  I increased the vanilla extract used and the brown sugar used as well. I also increased the cinnamon, as per the usual. Love cinnamon.

This cake is a wonderful option to make ahead the night before brunch or even a holiday breakfast, like Mother’s Day coming soon. If busy mornings are the norm in your house, make this coffee cake ahead of time.  That’s exactly what I did. I made it on Saturday morning and on Sunday, it still tasted incredibly fresh. The crumbs were piled high, the cake hidden underneath was moist and tender, and the taste?  Oh so cinnamon-buttery.

In some bites, the crumb layer was thicker than the cake layer! Amazing.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

Old-fashioned crumb coffeecake at its finest, my friends.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Super-Crumb Coffee Cake

Yield: serves 8-10

Print Recipe


  • 1 Tablespoon flour, for coating the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons (1 and 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, firm and cold
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature1
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature2
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously spray a 9-inch springform pan3 with cooking spray or grease with butter. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1 Tablespoon of flour and tap out the excess.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Cut in the butter in very small pieces using a pastry blender or mix with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of the butter/flour mixture.
  3. Mix the baking powder and baking soda into the remaining flour mixture. Add the room temperature buttermilk, egg, and vanilla - you may want to do this with a mixer. The batter is very, very thick. Vigorously mix everything together until the batter is smooth, fluffy, and resembles frosting - about 2 full minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan, smoothing the top.
  4. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved flour mixture. Toss with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressingly lightly so they stick. Bake the cake until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - 50-58 minutes. Mine took 55 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and allow cake to cool completely before serving (about 2 hours).
  5. Make ahead tip: Cake tastes best on day 1 or day 2. The cake may be made 1 day in advance. Store covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Cake can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Additional Notes:

1See note in the post about buttermilk substitution.

2See note in the post about bring egg to room temperature quickly.

3Don't have a springform pan? Use a 9x9x2 (not 8-inch) square baking dish.

Update: Crumbs are likely to sink to the bottom of the cake is your butter is not firm enough, therefore making a crumb too soft to stay put on top. You can try using frozen butter and cutting that into the mixture with your pastry blender.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



You won’t mind waking up to a few of my similar recipes for breakfast!

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce


Raspberry Chocolate Coffee Cake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake


Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake


Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread


After one bite of this coffee cake, breakfast will seem like a real treat.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at


345 Responses to “Super Crumb Coffee Cake.”

  1. #
    Annposted February 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I looked online for NY style crumbcake and found this recipe. I ultimately decided to try it because it uses AP flour. I’ve fallen in love with this recipe and have made it many times. It’s very adaptable, and tastes great with blueberries, a swirl of raspberry jam, fresh cranberries, or chopped apple added to the batter. It was even great the first time I made it and added the baking soda and powder BEFORE cutting in the butter and reserving the one cup for the crumb topping (Note: Don’t start baking at midnight!). Thank you for sharing.

    I’m writing because I have two questions.

    1. How does this recipe compare with the Cooks Illustrated recipe that calls for cake flour? They’re both from the same publisher, and I was wondering how similar or different they are. Have you (or anyone) done a baking and taste test comparison?

    2. This is probably a crazy question, but has anyone ever made this cake without the crumb topping? Just to clarify, don’t reserve the 1 cup mixture for the crumb, but bake it all as the cake part? I know, I know, who’d want to make crumb cake without the crumb?


    • Miriamreplied on March 20th, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Ann,
      Did you try to make this recipe without removing the 1 cup for the crumble? I have extra crumb from a previous batch and want to make the cake without having to take out extra crumb.


    • Miss Abbie Jeanreplied on May 15th, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      Hi y’all. I actually came across this recipe, looking for a coffee cake to use up a batch of brown sugar topping. It was made for sweet potato casserole, but somehow multiplied exponentially. So, I did make it without reserving the one cup of flour sugar mixture . Simply used heaping measurs of baking powder and soda. While potentially not the same as the texture of the original recipe, It came out great- highly approved by my family. 


  2. #
    Benposted February 28, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Awesome recipe Sally. Am hoping you might tell me how I could use this recipe and add coffee to it? Me and my boys would appreciate that! Thanks

    , Ben


  3. #
    Heleneposted March 3, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I would like to add lemon type sauce drizzled over. How would I do this


    • Sallyreplied on March 4th, 2016 at 7:30 am

      How about drizzling the finished cake with this lemon glaze?


  4. #
    Diansposted March 6, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Hi Sally,
    I’m slightly confused with one of your steps in your recipe…
    Am I to add all the cut up butter in the flour mixture first or take one cup of flour and set aside and put all the cut up butter in that one cup of flour??? I think I made it wrong 🙁

    Please advise.  Thank you.



    • Sallyreplied on March 6th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Add the butter to the flour mixture, then remove 1 cup of the butter/flour mixture to use later in the recipe.


  5. #
    Joshposted March 8, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Um… Shouldn’t a coffee cake have coffee in it?


    • Josh-you're-dumbreplied on March 24th, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      “coffee cakes” don’t necessarily have coffee in them. I know it’s a little confusing! There is no coffee in this crumb cake recipe. Just because a word is in the name, doesn’t mean it is that. French fries, for example, aren’t actually French, and you don’t add French people to the fries. 


    • Leereplied on March 26th, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Coffee cake is meant to be eaten with  a cup of coffee. 😉


    • Jjangreplied on April 4th, 2016 at 8:00 am

      People who craving for caffiene dessert who doesn’t know what coffee cake really are, would be very disappointed about this.. heheheehe.


  6. #
    Miriamposted March 21, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it before as a cake but I made it this time as muffins and they were great! A double batch made about 18 large muffins, but there was tons of leftover crumbs! (I made 3 double batches and the first double batch of crumble was enough for the next 2 rounds.) How can i make the recipe again without having to take out some mixture for the crumble, because now I have a whole bag of it in my freezer!


  7. #
    Jenniferposted April 11, 2016 at 6:55 am

    I made this yesterday and it was easy AND delicious! I added some frozen wild blueberries I had on hand and it was super yummy. I thought this was so great I shared it on Facebook with my recommendation! Thanks!


  8. #
    deborahposted April 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    everyone listen up i made this cake it was delicious everyone loved it.everytime I want to make something i come to sally everything she has on her website is delicious I still have so many things to try on her website thank you sally  for you sharing your recipes with us!!!!


  9. #
    Hayleyposted April 17, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I feel like I’ve commented on this recipe before (whoops), but I just remembered I remade this cake last week for my neighbour who had a rough surgery and took it over to her. She emailed me yesterday to thank me, tell me how delicious it was, and to say to send her the recipe! Thanks so much Sally for helping me help an elderly neighbour smile during a tough time 🙂 


  10. #
    Sarahposted April 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve made this recipe about 3 times in the last 2 weeks because people keep asking me to make it for them! I have gotten RAVE reviews from everybody who has eaten it! OMG it is so delicious and addictive! Love this recipe!


  11. #
    Lauraposted April 25, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Sally – you never disappoint!  Your blog is my “go-to” place for pretty much all baked goods.  Your recipes are so approachable… if that makes sense.  I am always baking stuff and taking goodies everywhere, and I always tell people about your blog when they ask where I got the recipe.  
    I’m born and raised in Charleston, SC, so I love those old-school church cookbooks with amazing old-timey family recipes, and YOUR cookbooks sit on my shelf right next to the classics!   
    This cake was absolute perfection – I cooked it in my 10″ springform pan so it cooked slightly quicker.  I am taking it to my office tmrw for coworkers but I did some quality control and it’s so incredibly flaky.  Cutting in the butter is a total game-changer.  I’ll be making this one again!


    • Sallyreplied on April 25th, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Laura! Very much appreciated. Happy you can depend on my recipes!


  12. #
    Cathyposted May 1, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I had to comment on this cake.  It was wonderful.  I made it for work, exactly as written.  I had a larger pan so I did make 1 1/2x the recipe.  It turned out perfect.  I watched it closely as to not over bake it.  It was gone in minutes!!!!  I just had to comment and tell you thank you for the wonderful Super-Crumb Coffee Cake recipe!!! I will be trying other recipes of yours in the near future.


  13. #
    Sheerahposted May 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I loved this cake. The crumb topping is heavenly – so crisp and buttery. I did think that maybe it was a little TOO super-SUPER crumb? I like a little more even cake-to-crumb ratio. Sally, if I wanted a taller cake, would I just reserve less of the flour/butter mixture and then increase the liquid ingredients? Still, this cake was outstanding.


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